Category Archives: Advice

Great to be back

It’s been more than 6 months since my last post.

If there is a valid excuse, well, I was working full time teaching at a high school.

I’m back everyone

Not too much has changed.

I’m happy that ugly election is over. Now it’s time to get over the mindset, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.”

I haven’t been posting a lot of work on Facebook because there’s good reason.

I’ve been posting more of my work on Instagram, so if you’re using Instagram follow me there and I’ll follow back.

The 6-month teaching stint was a great experience.

Though I didn’t enjoy the inherent problems of teaching at a high school like discipline, it gave me an even bigger appreciation of what teachers do day in and day out.

Parents are the primary teacher in life. They are the ones who set the standard of what is acceptable behavior. When they defer that responsibility to the teacher in school, I’m afraid that child is lost.

Because at the high school level, there can be no teaching happening in class when there is no discipline.

Graffiti as a backdrop

I took up a higher vantage point to shoot with a longer focal length to clean out the background, slowed my shutter speed by using a Neutral Density filter so I could get a blurred hula hoop.
I took up a higher vantage point to shoot with a longer focal length to clean out the background, slowed my shutter speed by using a Neutral Density filter so I could get a blurred hula hoop.

As photographers, our goal is to simplify.

Boil down what we see in any scene inside our viewfinder to highlight and emphasize our  most important element, our subject.

Backgrounds are often the most overlooked element in pictures.

Even seasoned photographers forget this especially when rushed.

My recent visit to a graffiti-filled abandoned building to photograph Cassie is a good example to illustrate this.

Finding an ideal backdrop amidst so much graffiti can be difficult at times. It may require a little imagination. I opted to use the exterior of the building as a backdrop.
Finding an ideal backdrop amidst so much graffiti can be difficult at times. It may require a little imagination. I opted to use the exterior of the building as a backdrop. 1 Yonguo YN-600EX_RT Speedlite fitted with MagMod Grid and 1/4 Color Temp Orange gel. See next  picture for placement.
Behind-the-scenes. Here you can see what I mean by the graffiti being overwhelming to the point it overpowers everything in sight.
Behind-the-scenes. Here you can see what I mean by the graffiti being overwhelming to the point it overpowers everything in sight.

Graffiti is extremely distracting because humans are conditioned to want to read whatever is written often to the point, the graffiti will overshadows our models, no matter how gorgeous they may be.  😉

Upon our arrival,  around 4 pm, the sun was still high.

I opted to ‘warm up’ indoors so we started inside the building.

The interior of the building is quite dark despite there being several windows and doorways.

My main light-Softlighter umbrella without diffusion fabric attached to my WL 800 powered by MiniBattery
My main light-Softlighter umbrella without diffusion fabric attached to my WL 800 powered by MiniBattery

I set up my Softlighter umbrella but without the diffusion fabric because I needed more power output to conserve battery power since we were on location.

The 72″ umbrella is unyielding outdoors because a slight sudden gust of wind and my whole light stand assembly would wind up on the ground.

I had help with me so I felt comfortable using it.

The Softlighter umbrella has a silvered interior and I attached it to my White Lightning XL800 strobe which I powered with Paul C Buff’s Minibattery.

If this location seems familiar, I’ve photographed Stephanie at this abandoned building before.

Cassie against the graffitied walls of the abandoned building. I toned it so that the gaudy colors are less of a distraction. ISO 100 1/250 sec @ f4.5. Fill on the right is from the Softlighter umbrella attached to the WL 800 studio strobe.
Cassie against the graffitied walls of the abandoned building. I toned it so that the gaudy colors are less of a distraction. ISO 100 1/250 sec @ f4.5. Fill on the right is from the Softlighter umbrella attached to the WL 800 studio strobe.

Next: Moving outdoors

Peter Phun Photography

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Arlington Business Partnership 13th Annual Chili Cookoff and Car/Cycle Show

A view of the crowd from Main Stage looking south on Magnolia Ave
A view of the crowd from Main Stage looking south on Magnolia Ave.
A pug sleeps peacefully as it is carried and rocked like a baby during the Arlington Business Partnership Annual Chili Cook-Off & Car/Cycle show
A pug appears as if asleep as it is carried and rocked like a baby during the Arlington Business Partnership Annual Chili Cook-Off & Car/Cycle show. Very tough to isolate them from the clutter in the background because of the time of the day,

Overcast skies are sometimes preferable over sunny skies when I have to photograph events when the sun is overhead.

A textbook example is when photographing anyone during those hours under a canopy.

Continue reading Arlington Business Partnership 13th Annual Chili Cookoff and Car/Cycle Show

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